Robert Chapman Garland was born on 17 March 1826 to John Garland and Mary (nee Chapman). The baptism record shows that the family were living on Call Lane and that John was a builder.

In 1841, the census shows that Robert was about 15 years old and was living with his parents on Cobourg Street.

Robert married Eleanor Shillito Eyres on 12 April 1849 at St George’s Church in Leeds. The marriage certificate shows that Robert was a builder living at Springfield Place. Eleanor was 20 years old living at Upper Head Row and she was the daughter of John Eyres who was a grocer.

The 1851 Census records Robert and Eleanor living at 24 Rockingham Street in Leeds. Robert was recorded as 25 years old and working as a “Builder (Master)”.

Robert and Eleanor had the following children:

  • Emily (1850- )
  • John (1851-1893)
  • Mary (1852- 1926)
  • Helen (1857-1864)
  • Henry (1860-1943)

In 1861, the family had moved to Belgrave Square. Robert was now described as a “Builder employing 36 men 4 boys”.

The family had moved again by the time of the 1871 Census to 18 Union Terrace in Potter Newton. Robert was a “Builder employing 20 men and 2 boys”.

Robert must have been a man of influence and well thought of. The 1872 White’s Directory and the 1888 Kelly’s Directory of Leeds shows that he was one of the “Elected Guardians” for Leeds. Across the country, groups of parishes had to form a network of “Unions”. Each Union was to be managed by a Board of elected Guardians, and in each Union a workhouse was to be constructed. You can read more about the Leeds Workhouse here. The 1872 directory shows that Robert ran his business from 2 Cross Belgrave Street and that he lived at 2 Sunny Bank Terrace on Potternewton Lane.

In the 1881 Census, Robert and family are recorded as living at Whinfield Mount, Town Street, Potternewton. He was now 55 years old, a builder employing 12 men.

Eleanor died in December 1884, Robert then moved to 92 Potternewton Lane and by the time of the 1891 Census it looks like he had retired, I think his business was now being run by his son John. Clara Helen Keysell, his 37 year old niece, was living with him. Clara was the daughter of his sister, Mary Hannah Eyres, who had married Henry Keysell.

Robert died on 5 February 1898 and was buried on 9 February in the graveyard of St Matthews.

Probate reads:

GARLAND Robert Chapman of Whinfield Mount Potternewton Leeds gentleman died 5 February 1898 Probate Wakefield 17 March to Henry Garland solicitor and Charles William Wheen wholesale-druggist Effects £21888 16s.